You feel the heavy pit in your stomach, as you hear the words in your head, it’s been a week since the last time you did it.
The last time you told yourself, “Tomorrow, I’ll try again.”?
But every single day, you wake up to the same chaotic life full of responsibilities and stress. it just got harder and harder for you to fight your way back on track.
Will you ever feel the same drive as when you first decided to get up and hit the gym?
You started off strong and excited to do this brand-new journey to get healthier.
You signed up for a gym membership, showed up on time or even earlier sometimes, you were determined, loving the smell of rubber and dead sweat as you bounced in the door.
You bought the right food, even took your time to check the labels and grab the freshest ingredients, bought some new sportswear, saved the healthiest recipes you could find on the internet.
You’re all set, you’re on fire…
You really worked hard to find the time, like it’s a newfound life, you started quite fresh and vigorous.
You enjoy it and for a moment there, you really felt strong and unstoppable.
You kept on getting better at the routines, felt the burn in your core and pushed yourself even further.
But then it happened…
Somewhere along the road, it seemed to slowly fade away.
First, it was because of that long day, you were too exhausted to go let alone have the time. “I’ll go tomorrow”
Then ‘other priorities’ start to creep in, work, kids, illness, events.
It started with one skip from the gym which turned into two and then three. Before you know it, it’s been a week since the last time you hit the treadmill.
Now you find yourself a slouch on the couch after a long day, simply settled for a bag of chips because it’s all you can muster today, exhausted more than ever, uncertain how you got to this point.
Yesterday, you promised to do it again today.
Yesterday, you opened the fridge to find the rotting greens you bought last week for that healthy meal you were determined to try.
Yesterday, you weighed yourself and found out you’re back to your weight before you started going to the gym.
It gets worse…
The more it happened, the more you felt worse about yourself and the more you became less and less healthy.
At first, you’ve told yourself you deserve a cheat day. But how many days has it been, really?
Do you wonder what you keep on losing during those moments?
It’s Motivation and you’ve lost it
It’s what you felt in the pit of your stomach, the drive that keeps you going, it’s what you felt the first time you hit the gym or became healthier in general.
It’s the spur to finish your errands you’ve listed for the day the moment you wake up. It’s the pull towards getting better, feeling better and doing better.
You were on your way, but why does it keep on fading away?
The good news is…
you’re not hopeless and you can stop this from happening again.
As a matter of fact, Psychology says you can preserve and sustain motivation.
It’s not rocket science, I’m going to show you how to easy it is to truly stay motivated and push further and go further.
More about that soon…
First, we need to understand motivation at its core first so we can fully grasp how to deal with it, especially in trying times.
What really drives that unwavering purpose?
Your achievement begins when you connect with your why, your deep seeded purpose – the deep reason for why you wished to change in the first place.
Think of motivation as a house built on a poor foundation, it will not stand for long if you don’t have a strong purpose you’re deeply connected with.
You have to understand the purpose of why you want to make a change in the first place so you can stay strong and driven to move forward.
To truly find your purpose, give yourself the time and space to go through the following questions, give yourself time to reflect and answer these questions, step by step.
- What makes this change mean to you?
- What’s something that’s important to you which achieving your goal will allow you to do/have?
- How will you be closer to your best self after you achieve your goal?
- How will other people see you after you achieve your goal?
- How will you see yourself after you achieve your goal? And how is this different from how you see yourself now?
The answers to these questions help us understand what lies behind our goals – their meaning behind what drives us further even when we ‘can’t be bothered’.
Let me explain deeper…
In goal setting and goal achieving, the meaning behind the why is everything! Without it, we easily lose motivation. With it, we can change almost anything. Here is why.
In his academic paper, Anthony M. Grant illustrated to us how meaning is so important to goal achievement. He connects meaning with our goals through a pyramid-shaped diagram.
At the top, he puts our personal values (the things that give us meaning). In the middle are our goals and at the bottom are our action steps – the things we do on a daily basis to work towards our goals. Grants say without really the work to understand our values and our ‘why,’ our goals don’t have enough meaning for us. This is the reason we lose motivation when life gets busy or when we lose focus on what we want.
The first step towards achievement is slow, but an important step. It takes reflection, time and possibly even a bit of courage.
With this knowledge and hopefully a deeper connection to the meaning for goals have for you.
Let’s go even deeper…
Where does your deep seeded Motivation really come from?
How you answer this question can be categorised largely on whether it’s coming from around or within you. The difference between the two can be noticed on how long each lasts to keep you going. These two kinds of motivations are called extrinsic (outside) and intrinsic (within) motivation.
Extrinsic motivation comes from things in our external world, like money, social status, praise or finding love. Intrinsic motivation is to enjoy doing something for its own sake.
Why do marathon runners actually put themselves through a 42km race? How does an author follow through and finish writing a 600-page book? They have intrinsic motivation to do so. So, what if you could find intrinsic motivation to not only work towards your goals but actually achieve them?
The good news is you have already started.
Through work with those previous questions, you hopefully came to a greater understanding of what your goals mean to you. You visualised who you could be. And you saw the gap, waiting to be filled between who you are now and who you will be when you have achieved your goal.
What if you were already the person who had achieved your goals? What if you just needed to chisel away at old habits in order to be that person?
Through this shift in mindset, your goal is already a part of your life. You think and act like a person who achieves (and has already achieved) health, wellness, and weight loss.
It is part of your identity.
You are swimming downstream to your goal, rather than struggle towards it.
When your goal is a part of you and the action steps toward it are a part of your life, you have absolute intrinsic motivation.
This mindset is where you begin the cornerstone of goal achievement. As you make a habit to think more like this, you establish a long–lasting motivation to really push beyond your boundaries.
But how else can you support yourself to create intrinsic motivation?
The Big 4 Essentials of Long Lasting Motivation
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Focus on the main four factors to skyrocket your intrinsic motivation; Relatedness, Autonomy, Mastery, and Purpose.
Relatedness is about the people who support us during our actions steps and progression towards our goal. For example, being around people who want to be healthy just like you.
When we feel supported, our intrinsic motivation goes up and makes goal achievement easier.
This is knowing your actions towards or away from your goal are entirely your choice. You are in total control of your health and weight loss.
Are you choosing action steps that are serving you? What are you already doing to help you achieve your goals and how can you build on this?
In the end, you still have to make a choice, in those moments, if you will be healthy or not.
It is important to feel like your goals are within your reach and practice makes perfect. Start simple in order to prove to yourself this is possible. Through doing and seeing small shifts in your actions or abilities, you can start to see the potential. Follow through on the first step is the most important.
Look back at the list of ‘Connect to Your Why’ questions. These may help you to consider the purpose behind your goal. It may be for you, but possibly also for others. How will a healthier, happier you impact you and your world?
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Tell me about you
Have you been trying to find long lasting Motivation? What part of the article resonates with you the most?
Leave a comment below and tell us your wonderful journey to having a healthy lifestyle. Who knows, maybe your story is just what other people need to be motivated. Spare no details, from your views to experiences and struggles, we’d love to hear all of them!